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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Idea
Sonnet 30. Those priests which first the Vestal Fire began
Michael Drayton (1563–1631)
 
[First printed in 1594 (No. 5), and in all later editions.]

To the Vestals

THOSE priests which first the Vestal Fire began,
Which might be borrowed from no earthly flame,
Devised a vessel to receive the sun,
Being stedfastly opposèd to the same:
  Where, with sweet wood, laid curiously by Art,        5
On which the sun might by reflection beat;
Receiving strength for every secret part,
The fuel kindled with celestial heat.
  Thy blessèd Eyes, the sun which lights this fire!
My holy Thoughts, they be the Vestal Flame!        10
The precious odours be my chaste Desires!
My Breast ’s the vessel which includes the same!
  Thou art my VESTA! Thou, my goddess art!
  Thy hallowed temple only is my Heart!
 
 
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